Discovery Point Blog
5 Back-to-School Tips for the 2021-2022 School Year
As the summer draws to a close and back-to-school season begins, it’s not uncommon for both parents and children to have a bit of anxiety. As the 2021-2022 school year approaches, your family may be feeling a bit more uncertain than in past years.
For many families, this fall will be the first time children have been back in school for full days, 5 days a week since March of 2020. This means for many children, in-person schooling is a distant memory. For these children, getting used to waking up and leaving the house each morning will be a big deal.
For those who had a few months of in-person schooling in the spring, the return to a regular full week schedule after summer break will present the same challenges it does every year. Getting back into the school year routine is always a challenge after enjoying lazy summer days.
As we head back to school, there will certainly be some excitement and first-day jitters. There are also likely to be questions about health and safety as your children make the transition back to in-class learning.
Here are our tips for being as prepared as possible for back-to-school time, how to roll with the punches, and how to help your children thrive after such an uncertain year.
Tip #1: Set Expectations
Explain to your children that this year’s school experience may look different than years prior. Depending on the school district, they may be required to wear masks, and certain forms of social distancing may be in force.
After hearing for so long that it was unsafe to go to school or meet with friends, they may have questions or anxieties about whether it is safe to go back now. Take the time to answer their questions using age-appropriate language, and gently let them know that “normal” could continue to be a changing concept.
Tip #2: Set Standards
While remote learning definitely had its drawbacks, there were some benefits your child is sure to miss. Rolling out of bed and studying in their pajamas was convenient and comfortable, but those days are behind us. Remind your child about what kind of attire is appropriate for school and how much earlier they will need to wake up to get ready and get out the door.
Tip #3: Get the Morning Routine Down Pat
If at all possible, aim to get into a more formal morning routine several weeks before school actually starts. This will allow your children to gradually set their alarm clocks earlier and earlier, rather than feeling they’ve been rudely awakened on that important first day. See how long it takes to have them get dressed and eat a healthy breakfast, and add on a few extra minutes of buffer time to ensure there’s no need to rush when school season finally arrives.
Tip #4: Create an Evening To-Do List
The best way to make your morning routine stress-free is to take care of any time-consuming activities the night before. Write down an evening to-do list on the refrigerator or near the family calendar including tasks such as:
- Preparing lunch
- Packing the backpack
- Laying out an outfit
- Checking that breakfast foods are on hand
- Setting the alarm clock
Tip #5: Schedule in Plenty of Family Time
This past year, many families have had a lot more time together than they ever expected. Suddenly having to spend hours away from you and from home every weekday may cause anxiety for kids who love routine.
Help ensure your children feel supported and get that much-needed family time they’ve become accustomed to by blocking off chunks of your own schedule in the evening after school. Having a set family dinner time where they can talk about their day will give them space to verbalize their anxieties and have something to look forward to each evening after a long day at school.
Whether your child is thrilled to go back to school and see their friends or is hesitant about the many changes ahead, they may need your support to get into the swing of things. Let your child know they’re not alone in this new adventure. Remind them that you’ll be facing any challenges that arise together, and you’ll always be there for them no matter what the upcoming school year holds.